PCC Receives Two Awards Recognizing Work to Eliminate Health Disparities

The Maryland Cancer Collaborative honored PCC and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) with the 2016 Exemplary Collaboration Award and the Adventist HealthCare Center for Health Equity and Wellness honored the PCC with the 2016 Blue Ribbon Award.


PCC and the Montgomery County DHHS received the 2016 Exemplary Collaboration Award for their work to address cancer disparities. This honor from the Maryland Cancer Collaborative (MCC) was in recognition of work leading a task force focused on implementing the Maryland Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan and addressing cancer disparities.

The task force collaborated with hospitals and health care providers to reduce mortality rates due to cancer in the African-American community in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.  Clinical process improvement efforts were implemented to better identify patients who are at risk for cancer, have limited resources, are uninsured, and come from African-American communities. Patients received improved access to screening, diagnostic services and treatment for cancer.

The award was presented at the 23rd Annual Maryland State Council on Cancer Control Conference on November 15, 2016.

Mary Jane Joseph and Charlene Holt accepted the award on behalf of the PCC and the Montgomery County DHHS, respectively. “Both Charlene and I are proud of the work we’ve accomplished while heading this task force,” said Mary Jane Joseph, Program Director.  “Socioeconomic status, poverty, and ethnicity shouldn’t determine whether or not someone survives a cancer diagnosis. Our work has provided our communities with the resources they need to access the care they deserve. We are grateful to the MCC for recognizing our work.”

The Maryland Cancer Collaborative (MCC) is a statewide coalition of volunteers who implement the Maryland Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan. The Cancer Plan serves as a guide for professionals who are involved in planning, directing, implementing, evaluating, or performing research on cancer control in Maryland. The Cancer Plan’s goal is to encourage collaboration and cohesiveness among stakeholders as they work towards reducing the burden of cancer in Maryland.

On Thursday, December 1, 2016, Adventist HealthCare Center for Health Equity and Wellness honored the PCC with the Blue Ribbon Award, which recognizes an individual or organization that has shown extraordinary commitment and dedication to eliminating  health disparities.

PCC was recognized for its long-term commitment to creating and implementing programs that improve access to care for culturally and ethnically diverse community members and support the value of health equity. PCC was specifically recognized for leading collaborative efforts among hospitals and community based health providers that support health equity.

Recipients of the Blue Ribbon Award have demonstrated new and creative ideas in their programs and collaborate effectively with partners and stakeholders in the community. By incorporating culturally sensitive policies, practices, and materials, they achieve measurable and positive results in the communities they serve.

“For over 20 years the Primary Care Coalition has coordinated a health care network designed to achieve health equity in our community. We are grateful to accept the 2016 Blue Ribbon Award in recognition of this work and we will continue to collaborate with community partners to work toward access and health equity for all of our vulnerable neighbors.”